THERE was a lot to like about the way 20-1 shot Go Direct ran down his opposition in a Pinnacle Plate over 1800m at Turffontein on Saturday.  He won from off the pace and looks a game, strong and plucky sort who is only coming into his own now.

Go Direct was entered alongside three more accomplished stable companions from Geoff Woodruff’s yard and although he was in receipt of weight, he stamped himself on the race, an encouraging factor for Woodruff going forward.

Woodruff commented: “As you know there has been a virus going around at Randjesfontein and elsewhere which may explain Go Direct’s poor last run. But I also think 2450m is a touch too far. He’s improving, he may be better than we thought he was.”

Jockey Marco van Rensburg reckoned he was confident of winning Saturday’s contest fully 400m out, another indication that Go Direct could be a relatively late bloomer with some class and a future of sorts. Woodruff will be pointing him and second-placed Master Switch at the Betting World 1900 at Greyville in mid-May.

He said: “Go Direct looks he will be well suited to the 1900m at Greyville and Master Switch is a better horse now than he was at this time last year, we’d like to qualify him for the July. We’re hoping Go Direct can make further progress for Lammerskraal Stud’s Pieter Graaff, who is a super guy, a gentleman who deserves success for what he’s investing into the game.”

Deo Juvente (fourth on Saturday) and Master Sabina (6th) are being aimed at the Champions Challenge over 2000m at Turffontein, May 6, and Woodruff noted that he’d be expecting a much better run from Master Sabina: “He’s an older horse, rising eight and last year he also took a run or two to come to hand. He pulled up with a little heat on his off-fore joint but that is not a concern, he is a sound horse. This was a disappointing run, I expected him to be alongside his stablemates and he didn’t, but he will improve for the run.”

Photo: Go Direct (pink silks), defeats Master Switch. (JC Photos).